(Editor’s note: The image provided by Lane County Search and Rescue is a reenactment of the contraption the stranded man created. It’s not the actual set-up.)
A man stranded on a snowy road in the Willamette National Forest launched his cell phone into the air, tied to a drone, to send a message for help.
The Lane County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Facebook page reports that the driver tried to take a remote road that is not maintained in the winter. He got stuck in the snow and was out of cell service range.
What was worse — his family was out of the country and and nobody knew where he had gone.
Rather than panic, the man used some ingenuity. Lane County SAR said he attached his cell phone to a drone that he had with him. He then hit send on a text message to a trusted person explaining what had happened and then launched the drone several hundred feet into the air.
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That elevation allowed the phone to find a cell tower and send the message. Search and rescue teams then responded and rescued the man.
While Lane County SAR said it was impressed with how the man got out of the sticky situation, they remind you that many forest roads are not maintained in the winter. Most vehicles cannot traverse them. And if the road becomes impassable, turn around and go back the way you came.
Lane County SAR said most of the rescue missions its conducted this year involving someone in a 4X4 vehicle who didn’t think they’d get stuck.
Also, be sure to tell someone exactly where you are going, when you’ll be back and do not deviate from that plan. And bring plenty of supplies, extra clothes and blankets in case you do get stuck.